Pris­oner liv­ing the high life

He boasts in video of flashy habits, tells of his ex­pen­sive clothes, jew­ellery and food


TE­BOGO Mak­ena, a Pre­to­ria pris­oner who boasted about his flashy life­style in a video cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia, is liv­ing the high life be­hind bars.

In­mates at Kgosi Mam­puru II Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre said they were not shocked to see Mak­ena trend­ing on Twit­ter yes­ter­day as he lived a life of priv­i­lege in his sin­gle cell in A Sec­tion be­cause he al­legedly paid prison war­dens for favours.

“This is not new to us. He boasts about clothes, jew­ellery and food. War­dens bring this stuff for him and he pays them hand­somely. He even runs a pris­on­ers’ soc­cer team known as Chiefs. He scams peo­ple from out­side while in prison and the warder some­times col­lects the money for him from out­side,” said an in­mate.

“Mak­ena, who is serv­ing four years for ma­li­cious dam­age to state prop­erty and house break­ing, is also fac­ing an on­go­ing charge of fraud and forgery,” said Gaut­eng Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices spokesper­son Mo­cheta Monama.

Mak­ena, who is from Soshanguve, and Lu­cas Masemola were caught last year while run­ning an ex­tor­tion scam from in­side Odi Prison. They al­legedly posed as po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors and would call po­lice sta­tions to ob­tain in­for­ma­tion on car hi­jack­ings and car theft.

They would then con­tact crime vic­tims, in­form them that their ve­hi­cles had been re­cov­ered and ad­vise the vic­tim to de­posit cer­tain amounts of money through eWal­let to get their ve­hi­cles back, po­lice said at the time. He was then trans­ferred to Pre­to­ria.

In­mates at Kgosi Mam­puru II said Mak­ena could still be ben­e­fit­ing from the scam as he al­ways had money.

In the video posted on Twit­ter yes­ter­day, Mak­ena and an uniden­ti­fied in­mate are seen boast­ing about a new pair of Louis Vuit­ton and Gucci shoes that Mak­ena had just bought for R13 000. In the video Mak­ena brags that he does not buy his clothes from Marabas­tad and shows off a Louis Vuit­ton invoice. He is then heard say­ing the shoes were bought from Shop 26 Up­per Level at Sand­ton City.

The video also shows lux­ury food items such as Ja­cobs Kro­nung cof­fee, All Bran Flakes and a Rus­sell Hobbs ket­tle, which are lux­ury items in jail.

Mak­ena, who also goes by the name “Batista” in jail, is said to have irked some in­mates be­cause of his ten­den­cies.

“He boasts a lot and can be very child­ish at times. This has cre­ated some envy and en­e­mies for him,” said an­other in­mate.

Al­though an ob­vi­ous of­fence seen in the video was the use of cell­phones, Monama said other pos­si­ble of­fences will be re­vealed once their in­ves­ti­ga­tion was done.

He said his depart­ment con­demned the video and would leave no stone un­turned dur­ing the probe.

“Due to the se­ri­ous­ness of the mat­ter, we im­me­di­ately in­sti­tuted an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion will also as­sist in en­sur­ing that plans are in place to min­imise the re­cur­rence of sim­i­lar in­ci­dents. If found guilty the in­mates may face crim­i­nal charges and this may re­sult in an ad­di­tional term of im­pris­on­ment,” said Monama.

He added that they were fight­ing the smug­gling of con­tra­band in jails be­cause it was a crim­i­nal of­fence.

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